Age Spots

Age spots, liver spots, senile lentigines or solar lentigines are a common problem with ageing.

It appears that people may be genetically predisposed to getting age spots. The most obvious causes are skin damage from exposure to the sun and age spots most prevalent on the, face, décolleté, hands, arms and back.

Cutaneous ageing signs such as age spots become visible from as early as the twenties, especially with excessive sun or environmental exposure. However between the ages of 35 to 49 years there is a sharp increase in prevalence of skin changes clearly ascribable to photo-aging such as pigmented spots and discolouration of skin. Awareness of the damaging effect of UV radiation on the facial appearance and sun avoidance and protection before the age of twenty will help reduce the risks for developing age spots later in life.

Ageing skin unsettles women more than men; because society believes a woman loses her attractiveness once visible signs of facial ageing set in. Characteristics of skin facial aging include fine and coarse wrinkle formation, pigmentation changes, sallow colour, dry texture, loss of elasticity, loss of skin tone, sagging subcutaneous tissues, underlying muscle hypertrophy and volume loss in the face.

Photo ageing caused by ultraviolet light exposure tends to act more on the surface of the skin. There are sun freckles or age spots and dilated blood vessels (often referred to as "broken" blood vessels) that lead to an overall uneven tone and discolouration.

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